I've come to realize that I have been going about my workouts not so much the wrong way, but a way that hasn't been beneficial. I have always gone into the gym with a fairly good attitude/mental state. I know what I need to do and I make sure my concentration is up. I have made fairly good progress but recently I have noticed some lifts have gotten harder. Even though I prepare myself mentally, the lifts sometimes get away from me, so to speak. I thought that I might have hit a plateau and was doomed.
This past arm workout, I did something different just for fun and I ended getting some very impressive results. I applied this to my past 3 workouts and again the results have been impressive to say the least. This new techique is fairly simple. 30 seconds before I start my set (I time breaks), I just sit and try not to think about the lift. I left myself completely relax (I also close my eyes). I have a portable MP3 player so the music I listen to helps me relax more. After the 30secs I start the set.
For some reason, I feel so much more confident and stronger when I do my sets. I honestly don't know if this technique is all mental, physical or somewhere in between but I plan on continuing it for a while.
I hope no one thinks I'm trying to press this on anyone. It's just something that I feel will help me in the long run. The reason I am bringing it up goes back to the topic: Mental vs Physical. Which is really more important? These past few days, I've come to realize that the mental aspect of lifting, for me, is far more important than the act of lifting. I think my problem before was either I thought too much about my lift or I psyched myself out. Clearing my head for even 30 secs has helped me forgot about how heavy something might be or issues I might be having that day. It's a real eye opener and I can't believe I didn't think about this sooner.
How do everyone here feel about Mental vs Physical?
Mental is obviously important, but everyone prepares differently.
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I think the mental is very important. Not saying being physically ready isn't important because I feel it is, but being mentally ready to lift is very important. I always use a portable CD player and try to listen to music to motivate me. Another tip is to vary the kind of music you listen too. I go from hardcore gangsterr rap to heavy metal to mozart and bach. I've had great workouts listening to all of them.
For me its mental. I know I can do the weight, and would never put on a weight I could not do. So there aint nothing to it, but to do it!!
I am glad that you found what works for you.
Different things work for different people and in many cases there are numerous ways to get pysched up or focused. Understanding how to harness your power is very important and I believe is one of the big reasons that PR's deviate so much from individual to individual. I have trained with guys who have huge 1RM numbers but not great rep numbers and I believe that a lot of that comes down to their mental fortitude.